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Happy hunting

Thousands gather for annual event

POSTED: April 7, 2010 4:00 a.m.
Frank Reddy Dawson Community News/

Drew, 2, and Brooklyn Ledford, 3, examine their Easter treasures Saturday following an Easter egg hunt as mother Jenny Ledford looks on.

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Herbert Lawson of Dawson County was all smiles as he lounged with grandson, Neil, on Saturday following the Community Easter Egg Hunt.

  

Neil, 4, counted — then recounted — his prizes and candy. Lawson stretched out in the grass, where the 24th annual event had just concluded.

  

“Tell you what,” Lawson said. “I’ve been coming to this thing for 20 years. I can’t recall a prettier day.”

  

Lawson and thousands of others came out for the Community Easter Egg Hunt Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park, where volunteers hid more than 15,000 prize-filled, plastic eggs.

  

The gathering also featured a hot dog eating contest, inflatable bounce houses, train rides and photo opportunities with the Easter bunny.

  

Proceeds from concessions benefitted KARE for Kids, a local organization that provides for Dawson County’s children in need.

  

Betty Hendrix said the organization’s aim “is a good thing for Dawson County.” Hendrix and husband, Mark, brought children, Ashley, 12, and Dustin, 10, Saturday. It’s the family’s fifth straight egg hunt.

  

“The kids have a great time,” she said.

  

Jaime Herndon of Dawson County agreed. She said her children, Riley, 8, and Natalie, 3, have a blast hunting eggs.

  

“It’s the prizes,” Herndon said. “They love the prizes.”

  

Some children got some pointers on prize hunting.

  

Albert Stevens and wife, Anne, coached 5-year-old William prior to the egg hunt’s start.

  

“Now, when they say ‘go,’ run for the biggest eggs,” said Anne Stevens, gesturing toward the field. “Don’t stop when you see the other kids stop for the little eggs. Big eggs mean big prizes.”

  

Young William Stevens looked out toward the field, his eyes narrowing.

  

Following the hunt, some parents seemed distressed over the behavior of others.

  

“There were some parents out there, I ain’t naming names, they were acting like heathens,” said Felicia Pirkle of Dawson County. “They didn’t want nobody else to have a chance.”

  

Pirkle brought 2-year-old daughter, Amanda, to the event. Parents with very young children were permitted to walk the field with their toddlers.

  

Others seemed content with their share. Like Billie Anglin and son, Keith, 7.

  

“He did good,” she said. “It’s his first time doing this.”

  

Keith smiled as he tore into an orange hunk of taffy.

  

Event organizer and KARE for Kids President Calvin Byrd said the event was “a success.”

  

For more information about KARE for Kids, visit www.kareforkids.us.

 

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